Amidst the glamour, the drama, the explosions, the shoot-outs and the romance, a stand-out timepiece steals the limelight from time to time. As a luxury watch enthusiast, you’ve probably shouted and pointed at the TV when you spotted a watch and instantly fell a little bit in love.
Because we’re no different, we rounded up iconic watches caught on film. Whether they silently appeared in the background or the characters spoke about or alluded to them in some way, these are some of our favourite timepieces that made it onto the Silver Screen.
Paul Newman’s Rolexes & a world record attempt
Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona sold for a record $17.8 million at an auction in 2017. The watch, which was a gift from Newman’s wife, has been called “the greatest watch on the planet” by vintage watch collector, Geoff Hess.
Newman knows his Rolexes. And his collection has made it into more record-breaking attempts. He gifted a GMT-Master and a Cosmograph Daytona to his stunt double, Stan Barrett, who wore them both in 1979 when he attempted to break the sound barrier on land. Mr Barrett acted as Newman’s stunt double on numerous films, including the American drama Sometimes a Great Notion which was released in 1971.
James Bond & his Rolex (and OMEGA’s)
Where would James Bond be without his vodka martinis, crisp suits, techy gadgets, beautiful women and Rolex watches? One of the most iconic pairings in Hollywood history is the Rolex Submariner and Mr Bond, especially when portrayed by Sean Connery.
Ever since the model caused a stir in the original James Bond movie, Rolexes have become iconic in 007’s world.
Since the 1990’s, James Bond has shifted to another luxury watch brand: OMEGA. The first appearance of an OMEGA was in 1995, with Bond in GoldenEye donning a OMEGA Seamaster Professional Diver 300M.
Bond’s affinity for the brand has culminated in a limited edition Bond watch created by the brand: https://www.omegawatches.com/watch-omega-seamaster-diver-300m-co-axial-master-chronometer-42-mm-21022422001004
“I just showed someone your watch. Really blew their mind.”
James Bond, No Time to Die
The “Moonwatch” in Apollo 13
The Omega Speedmaster, or The Moonwatch, was officially approved by NASA for space travel. It made it onto the wrists of astronauts, including Edwin Aldrin during the 1969 moon landing, and Walter Schirra on board the Sigma 7 in 1962.
Later in 1995, Apollo 13 was released. A depiction of real-life events, the movie portrayed how the Speedmaster played a significant role in keeping the astronauts alive. It picked up plenty of screen time in the film, and today is on display in the Omega Museum located in Bienne, Switzerland.
“We've never lost an American in space, we're sure as hell not gonna lose one on my watch! Failure is not an option.”
Ed Harris, Apollo 13
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso in The Dark Knight
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso came into existence in the 1930s. Its flip-over case design meant it could be worn during polo games. Wearers could simply flip over the case to protect the watch’s face, so there was no need to take it off when games got underway.
Fast-forward to Hollywood, 2008, and Christian Bale wears the Reverso in a way that represents the two sides of his character. As Bruce Wayne switches to become Batman, the watch switches to show something different.
Rolex Datejust in American Psycho
A psychological horror story that analyses the lives of rich, young professionals, American Psycho is a movie about status, prestige and style. In the film, Patrick Bateman wears the classic Rolex Datejust 16013 in two-tone yellow gold and steel - and it’s no surprise that the choice of watch was carefully thought-out.
Two-tone watches are about as ‘80s’ as it gets, and this one was suitably flashy for the character. Rolex was famously unhappy about the product placement. The brand’s name was featured 26 times in the American Psycho book, but was largely removed from the movie.
“Don’t touch the watch.”
Patrick Bateman, American Psycho
Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph in Top Gun
The timepiece of choice for Tom Cruise in Top Gun is the Orfina Porsche Design Chronograph 1. Maverick (played by Cruise) lives a fast-paced life that plays with danger - and the watch is the perfect wingman.
The timepiece by Porsche was designed to be a “speedometer on the wrist”. Although it was created 10 years prior to the first film (the Orfina dates back to 1973), its cool all-black appearance and timekeeping capabilities made this perfect for the film, and an icon in the movie world.
“I feel the need…the need for speed.”
Maverick, Top Gun
Alsta Nautoscaph in Jaws
Previously known as “Alstater”, this watch appeared in the cult-classic Jaws in 1975. The watch was a diver’s watch that didn’t carry as much prestige as many other brands - probably why it was chosen by Hooper, who likes to carve his own path.
Even the keenest of watch enthusiasts couldn’t get their hands on this model. However, Alsta re-released the iconic Jaws watch in 2020. 1975 of them, in fact. The latest iteration is the Alsta Nautoscaph Superautomatic, and has been updated to suit a modern audience, as well as to withstand the pressures of the ocean floor.
Imagine becoming the proud owner of an iconic timepiece from your favourite movie. Trilogy Jewellers could help make that happen. Our sourcing service uncovers rare, valuable watches - often within 24 hours. Call us on 0203 9298227 or visit us in London’s Hatton Garden to talk to the team about your portfolio goals.